1. What did you do in 2003 that you'd never done before?
I've never had a relationship with a foreigner before. I've never had a long distance relationship, or a relationship that started online before moving to meatspace. scarlatti is responsible for all these firsts.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
There was only one new year resolution -- a life without masks -- and I think I kept it, and I'd like to think that it's been a success. There were some unanticipated consequences, but I think it was worth it. Next year I'll be persisting with the technique. I don't have another resolution for next year yet.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I don't think "close" is quite the word. ZZ9's research archivist and filthy pro MJ "Simo" Simpson was presented with a son by his wife Hilary a few weeks ago. Thomas Ford Simpson.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
A few. They've been mentioned in the journal.
5. What countries did you visit?
The United States of America at the beginning of September, and the Republic of Ireland at the end of October. Home is in England.
6. What would you like to have in 2004 that you lacked in 2003?
Either the right of residency over there, or for scarlatti to have the right of residency over here.
7. What date from 2003 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Just the one? Then it's the 30th of August.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Holding true to the no-masks resolution.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Bits of my past insist on crawling out of their hiding places and crippling me emotionally, just occasionally. For this reason I had to write off several days of my trip last September before I started behaving normally.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
The worst injury, the only major injury of the year, was when I twisted my knee during a boating near-miss. I have weak knee-joints anyway -- but I'm still, seven months on, suffering a bit from this one.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
A return ticket to Washington DC. The second-best thing was probably the pocket computer. I rely on it quite a lot now.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Okay, enough with answers that involve scarlatti and me. I'd like to commend to your attention the example of hawkida and lproven, because the three of us decided to get our heads shaved as a sort of visual gag -- and ended up raising about two and a half thousand pounds for charity in the process.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
George W Bush invaded a sovereign territory without authority, and Tony Blair assisted him. I protested, and so did more than a million others in London, and many millions of others around the world did the same.
14. Where did most of your money go?
We'll leave aside capital outlay. In income/expenditure terms, the largest funds go into new computers and computer-related services and consumables. The second-largest -- only just -- was the Washington trip.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
16. What song will always remind you of 2003?
I don't do the whole "song" thing. There aren't any qualifying songs -- not in the way that "Hopes and Dreams" reminds me of 2000, for example.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Both. More of each. And no, that's not a contradiction. I have much more to be happy about, but the same things are often a source of despairing frustration.
ii. thinner or fatter?
I suspect that I'm about the same. I don't keep track.
iii. richer or poorer?
Currently, I'm much poorer -- I have several thousand pounds less than I had last year -- the capital outlay I refrained from mentioning in question 14. But I hope that in the near future my correspondence with the insurers will bear fruit, and I'll be back in the black once more.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Seeing scarlatti in person. Two weeks wasn't nearly enough.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Wibbling. Losing it. Failing to make good use of limited opportunity.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
My mother will be at her Boyfriend's house, about ten miles from here in Reading, over Christmas. On the day itself, they're going to his son's (who is also my cousin) for the day, and I'll be there too.
What happened to 21?
We'll pretend it's a question about what I'm doing at new year. I'll be packing the night before, because on the first of January I'm flying out to Washington DC once more.
22. Did you fall in love in 2003?
I'll leave the answer to this one as an exercise for the reader.
23. How many one-night stands?
This is one of the things I'm not capable of, it doesn't follow from the way my mind and body work. So, none.
24. What was your favorite TV program?
I've enjoyed watching the triumph of talent over image that's been played out during the candidature of Michelle McManus in this year's "Pop Idol".
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No. I only ever hated one person. It's a purposeless, destructive, ugly emotion and I've succeeded in not employing it on anyone new for years and years. Every year I get a bit closer to leaving it behind completely.
26. What was the best book you read?
Now this is a difficult question. I've read a lot less this year than previously, because I've been spending more time on LJ and more time in Chat.
27. What was your greatest musical (re)discovery?
I actually bought a chart CD for the first time in years -- "Let Go" by Avril Lavigne -- because I liked some lyrics I overheard. It transpires that she's a better lyricist than singer. In other news, I've been surprised to find myself listening to Paul Simon again, and subsequently to African singers. It's been interesting, particularly because popular music is not a world in which I'm a particularly frequent visitor.
28. What did you want and get?
29. What did you want and not get?
I'm afraid this is another pair of questions with answers which are likely to involve scarlatti. The answers are, respectively, "some" and "enough".
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
We've already established (see my LJ, passim) that I'm not a media fan. I haven't seen any films released in 2003.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 38. My birthday drinks were ineptly organised, by contrast with the previous year, and there was talk of doing it properly later, which has yet to happen.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I lived three and a half miles from scarlatti, instead of three and a half thousand.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2003?
34. What kept you sane?
Very little. There's a strong argument for claiming that I'm considerably less sane now than I was a year ago. If there's a candidate for an answer to this question, it's the "no masks" policy, and the dogged determination I've had to stick to it, despite the consequences.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Goodness me. I don't go for celebrities. Or public figures. I go for personalities -- which means that, for most public figures, there isn't enough there for me to fancy. I am reminded by scarlatti that I had a few things to say about Anne Diamond when Celebrity Big Brother came on -- I'm unsure whether that was this year or not. And I wouldn't mind sharing a kitchen with Michelle from Pop Idol too.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Inevitably, the invasion of Iraq by the forces of disregarding-democracy.
37. Who did you miss?
I constantly miss scarlatti. I have bouts of missing Anne too.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
To meet in person, scarlatti. On-line, of course, I "met" her the preceding autumn.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2003:
If it's worth it, if it's really worth it, then it's worth putting everything into it.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?
See the way you're acting like you're somebody else gets me frustrated.
Life's like this: You fall, and you crawl, and you break,
and you take what you get and you turn it into honesty.
Promise me I'm never gonna find you fake it.